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Louie Giglio Biography

Passion City Church Pastor Moves as God Leads Him

By

Louie Giglio

Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church

Rick Diamond / Staff / Getty Images

*Update: 01/10/2013 - Louie Giglio withdrew from the inaugural ceremony following gay rights uproar.

Louie Giglio says he is moving through the stages of his life as God leads him.

*The pastor of Atlanta's Passion City Church steps onto the national stage with an invitation to deliver the benediction at the second inauguration of President Barack Obama January 21, 2013.

For Giglio, this honor was yet another opportunity to "make Jesus Christ famous." Giglio acknowledges that Christ is already famous all over the world, but he has a drive to connect young adults with the message of the gospel.

The first stage in Giglio's life occurred when he was a freshman at Georgia State University in 1977. He decided one morning at 2 a.m. that he was going to devote his life to Christ instead of a college party lifestyle.

That led him to the next stage, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he earned a Master of Divinity Degree. In 1985, Giglio and his wife Shelley took what seemed like a small step at the time, but it eventually grew to be another major stage of his life.

Choice Ministries Identifies the Need

Giglio had just finished seminary. He and his wife decided to conduct a weekly Bible study at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. At first just a few students attended.

They called the program Choice Ministries. In an interview with John Piper, Giglio said students spread the word and the study began growing, from a couple dozen to a few hundred, to a thousand, to over 1,600 people. After several years had passed, ten percent of the Baylor student body was attending the weekly study.

All the while, Giglio wanted to go home to Atlanta to be with his family. His father was seriously ill and his mother had become exhausted taking care of him. Giglio said he felt God "release" him from the Bible study in 1995.

Giglio's father died from a brain infection before Louie made it home. On the plane from Waco to Atlanta, Louie Giglio said God led him to the next stage in his life.

Passion Conferences Meet the Need

Giglio felt called to present large gatherings for college students, and the Passion Movement began. The first conference, held in Austin, Texas in 1997, lasted four days.

More Passion Conferences followed. The January Passion 2013 Conference in Atlanta drew more than 60,000 young adults from 18 to 25, representing 54 countries and more than 2,000 colleges and universities.

During the 2012 Passion Conference, the movement raised $3.2 million to fight human trafficking, including forced labor, child labor, and sex trafficking. This year Passion 2013 attendees vowed to "end it" by giving more than $3.3 million toward the Freedom Campaign.

Passion City Church Is The Latest Stage

Giglio and his wife had long been members of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, pastored by Andy Stanley. In 2009, Giglio said he was led to plant a church in Atlanta. That eventually became Passion City Church.

In addition to Giglio as senior pastor, the church also includes Chris Tomlin. Tomlin is one of the artists on sixstepsrecords, a label created by Giglio in 2000. Other Christian artists on the label include David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Kristian Stanfill, and Christy Nockels.

Giglio has written several Christian books (The Air I Breathe, I Am Not but I Know I Am, Wired: For a Life of Worship) and a number of popular worship songs including "Indescribable" and "How Great Is Our God."

(Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, Desiringgod.org, Christianitytoday.com, and cbn.com.)

Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.

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